Taking Back Sunday have been a five-piece that have further dipped their toes in the water with their latest offering of Tidal Wave. To be at this point of their careers right now, is an incredible achievement, releasing their seventh record to the world as we speak. There’s not a lot of bands that survive this tough, continuously evolving industry but this record lends a hand to why the title is important; one that should be heard and appreciated by new and old listeners, getting the full-sounding Taking Back Sunday we’ve appreciated over time. Compared to their last record, Happiness Is, there’s a beautiful clarity that exists in this body of work offered by the Long Island five-piece.
It’s a record that speaks out so many things that have been swept underneath the carpet for many years; the challenges of being a band and unwinding those moments of moving forward for bigger and better things. Tidal Wave acts as a catalyst for the outfit to be themselves at this present moment, revealing a rawness and calm aura in their material. It’s less angsty and more relevant to their individualistic talents; a progression that was well-needed to channel those creative energies to make something long-lasting.
Tidal Wave starts off with a grand introductory track titled “Death Wolf”, being highly electric and giving those renewed dynamics Taking Back Sunday have explored in this record. It twists and turns into something extraordinary, paving the record as something meaningful and honest from the get-go. It has some killer bass lines and exploding guitar riffs, creating lasting impressions for listeners of all kinds. It doesn’t dwindle and get’s straight to the point, finalising an introductory track that already reveals how raw and engaging this record has played out to be. “Tidal Wave” and “Can’t Look Back” revels in the honest words found in the songwriting, giving those punchy and emotive vocals a polished feel to Adam Lazzara‘s progression as a vocalist; beneath those anger-driven lyrics in the past, Lazzara has carefully constructed the time to sing every note to the best of his abilities, and both songs bring out this notion of moving forward; painting a picture of waves crashing down but also reminding you to stay afloat on those times where the ocean isn’t as generous.
Considering how much the five-piece have been associated with the ’emo nostalgia’ phase, Taking Back Sunday have pushed themselves with this record and have bounded that collaboration and chemistry successfully. With all the original members coming together for Tidal Wave, they’ve left those old habits of fighting and rejected compromises by bringing together a unity of bonds that cannot be broken in their music; collecting those moments where music has kept them most alive.
Numbers like “I Felt It Too” and “I’ll Find A Way To Make It What You Want” are both atmospheric in nature, putting together those instrumentals and making them feel like they are the missing pieces to the puzzle. These songs came as such a surprise as most Taking Back Sunday fans have thrived on the high-energy and fast-paced signature sound the outfit have showcased, yet those songs really magnetise the synergy among the members, contending to be outstanding tracks that bring out the best version of themselves to date. If you were to find yourselves catching the blues at some point, Tidal Wave hits you with the feels all at once, revelling in some kind of beautiful territory Taking Back Sunday haven’t gone before. It’s thought-proving and authentic, and doesn’t stray away from their original roots.
If you were to come across Tidal Wave at some point in your life – whether it’d be in your late 20s or early 30s, you’ll always have this sense of clarity when giving this record a spin. Taking Back Sunday prove that maturity comes with wisdom and with that wisdom comes the power of knowing they are still capable of great things. So don’t be fooled and be stuck in the past. Tidal Wave is a sincere record, still having that Taking Back Sunday charm we’ve grown to love over the years.
Tidal Wave is available September 16 via Hopeless Records / UNFD